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Google Wallet: Five things you need to know

Just recently, Google introduced its Google Wallet service, a near field communications (NFC) payment system that will turn an Android device into a mobile payment system. Lets take a look at five of the most important aspects of Google Wallet.

1) Google Wallet works by utilizing NFC (Near Field Communications) to send short range signals to nearby NFC tags to complete payments. Basically, with a simple tap on your smartphone, you can pay for your merchandise. Google is working with 15 big name merchants such as RadioShack, American Eagle, Subway, Macy’s, Footlocker, and Walgreens to accept Google Wallet payments.

2) Google Wallet allows you to have a Google Prepaid Card that is simply one virtual card that is funded by any of your existing credit cards. You will be able to deposit a predetermined amount of cash into your Prepaid Card and you can use it to pay at any store that accepts Google Wallet.

3) Google Wallet features top notch security in case your smartphone gets stolen. Users will be required to enter a PIN before making any purchases. Google also uses MasterCard’s PayPass technology to encrypt your credit card information. Google also created a chip called “Secure Element” that “stores encrypted credit card data and that is separate from your smartphones memory.” According to Google, the chip is designed to “self-destruct if anyone tampers with it and it has built-in defenses against laser attacks.”

4) Google will also track your location and offer you deals and sales in your area which can be accessed via your Google Wallet. “So let’s say it’s winter and you’re walking by Walgreens. Google Offers will alert you to the fact that Walgreens is offering a 50% discount on NyQuil to all Google Wallet holders.”

5) At the moment, Google Wallet is being introduced as a trial on the Google Nexus S 4G. Also, NFC isn’t really expected to become an integral part of smartphones for at least a few years, so Google is simply getting the ball rolling on this technology.

According to Google, Google Wallet is currently being field tested and will be released “soon.”

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